Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Muskoka Farm. Frederick Stanley Haines


National Gallery of Canada
Artist: Frederick Stanely Haines

Here's the kind of painting that captures my imagination.  I like its composition, colour and  atmosphere.  Its the kind of painting that I would love to hang on my living room wall. Failing that, I'm pretty glad that its in our national collection in Ottawa.

This is the kind of painting that art teachers value to teach their students about the power of complimentary colours and composition. Check out the sky and background hills, and see how Haines advanced his blues forward, into the roof and walls of the barns, and then to the foreground haystacks where they vanish into the wisp of a  transluscent surface.  It sure makes the yellow stand out, doesn't it?

But that's only the beginning. See how the haystacks partition the painting. The focus takes place in the nicely composed barnyard.  Its here where the action takes place as the two horses head toward the safety of the barn.  Not just that but in an area further restricted by a repeated leaning pole, and an errant cast shadow.  The movement of the horses into the barn, serves notice that a storm is on the way.

Sometimes its the little things that bump a painting up from being a good work to being a great one.
Look carefully within the barn and you will a secondary wall of hay in the mow.

Its no wonder that I would love to have this one in my collection.

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